Hotel staff refuse to sell fish fingers to man, 47, with Down’s Syndrome claiming the meal is only available to under-12s

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Willie Forbes was refused meal at the Royal Highland Hotel, Inverness
Niece claims staff discriminated against her uncle because of his disability

Reposted from a story online written By Kerry Mcdermott

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Hotel staff refused to serve a man with Down’s Syndrome fish fingers – because the dish was on the children’s menu.

Willie Forbes, 47, who visited the Royal Highland Hotel in Inverness for dinner while on holiday with his family, was told the meal – his favourite – was only available to under-12s, his niece claims.

Mr Forbes’ niece Clare Cummings, 19, said staff at the Scottish hotel had discriminated against her uncle because of his disability, and thousands of people aired their disgust at the incident on a Facebook page calling for a boycott of the venue.

‘Unacceptable’: Willie Forbes, 47, seen with his niece Clare Cummings, was told by staff at the Royal Highland Hotel he could not have the dish because it was on the children’s menu
‘Unacceptable’: Willie Forbes, 47, seen with his niece Clare Cummings, was told by staff at the Royal Highland Hotel he could not have the dish he wanted because it was on the children’s menu

Anger: The hotel in Aberdeen has come under fire for refusing to serve Mr Forbes the dish he ordered
Anger: The hotel in Aberdeen has come under fire for refusing to serve Mr Forbes the dish he ordered

The page – on which the hotel was branded ‘disgusting’, ‘shocking’ and ‘disgraceful’ for refusing to serve Mr Forbes the meal he wanted – appears to have been taken down.
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The firm’s regional manager Indranil Banerjee issued an apology via the hotel’s own Facebook page for the upset caused to Mr Forbes and his family, but insisted staff had not discriminated against him because of his disability.

The hotel in Station Square is investigating the incident.

‘Regret’: Regional manager Indranil Banerjee apologised for the distress caused to Mr Forbes but insisted the hotel did not discriminate against him
‘Regret’: Regional manager Indranil Banerjee apologised for the distress caused to Mr Forbes but insisted the hotel did not discriminate against him

Mr Forbes lives in supported accommodation in Aberdeen, but was in Inverness for the day following a weekend at Lochloy Holiday Park in Nairn with Miss Cumming and her mother Linda.

Miss Cumming said the trio went into the restaurant at the Royal Highland Hotel for a meal, but were told Mr Forbes could not have the fish fingers from the children’s menu because it was only for those aged under 12.

‘I tried to explain he had Down’s Syndrome and had special dietary requirements,’ she said.

‘He can’t eat big portions, only little portions. The waitress went and got a supervisor but he was like, “No, you can’t have that”. We just got up and left.’

Miss Cumming said they ate next door at the Filling Station restaurant, where staff ‘couldn’t have been nicer’.

‘We got the kids’ menu and everything,’ she said.

Miss Cumming said she was convinced Royal Highland staff discriminated against her uncle because of his disability.

‘They made us feel like we weren’t part of the clientele. It is just unacceptable,’ she said.

The shocked teenager described her family’s experience on her Facebook page, and someone unknown to the family later set up a page calling on people to boycott the hotel in response.

Mr Banerjee has urged Miss Cumming to contact the hotel as he said no direct complaint has been made.

‘I would like to reassure all of our guests that we pride ourselves in providing equal opportunities to our diners.

‘I truly regret the distress that Willie and his family have experienced,’ he said.

He said the family was offered a choice of meals from the adult section of the menu – which included fish goujons that would have been provided in a smaller serving.

This was denied by Miss Cumming, who said she wanted Mr Banerjee to travel to Aberdeen and apologise to her uncle in person.

A separate Facebook page was set up in support of the Royal Highland Hotel in the wake of the incident.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2365167/Hotel-bosses-refuse-sell-fish-fingers-man-47-Downs-Syndrome-claiming-meal-available-12s.html#ixzz2ZEKw6WCI
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Author: disabledaccessdenied

I am a disabled woman who through no fault of my own has wheels under my ass. I rely on the decency and common sense of local, state and federal goverments, as well as the retail community to abide by the disabled access laws and provide adequate ramps, disabled toilets, and not use them as store rooms or broom closets. This blog exists to find the offenders and out them, inform them, and report them if necessary and shame them into doing the right thing when all else fails.

2 thoughts on “Hotel staff refuse to sell fish fingers to man, 47, with Down’s Syndrome claiming the meal is only available to under-12s”

  1. After all the legal battles to have people with disabilities treated with equality it is infuriating when someone complains when they are treated equally. It is shameful that Miss Cumming maligns a business for treating her uncle as an adult. To expect a manager to travel 120 miles to apologise personally for doing his job is laughable. Get over yourself pet!

    1. it’s the hospitality industry he is mentally the age of a child he is obviously disabled what the hell does it hurt the hotel ??? I worked in hotels for almost 4 decades any establishment with any class would have done it in a minute yes he’s technically adult but mentally a child how about you get yourself a pet

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